Monday, February 20, 2017

"I must have flowers, always and always" ~ Claude Monet

It has been raining for ages (or at least it seems like it) and I'm not complaining after years of drought,

but as you can see despite lots of green, I don't have many flowers blooming.

I've been relying on Trader Joe's a lot this winter 

either in grouping the few garden flowers I have with TJ's flowers

or using full bouquets of flowers I purchase.

The pink flowers on the mantel (I'm bad with names) have lasted a few weeks, but sometimes I only get a few days out of flowers.

Of course I love all the flowers in the house,  but I do wish they lasted longer.


I've been looking for flowers that I can display without water

so they will dry nicely - statice always works well for me.

The thistles should dry well also, but I'm not sure what to expect with the berries.

So far it's been 5 days and everything looks fine without water.

I like buying roses, drying them after a few days

and then mixing them with fresh and dried flowers in vignettes.

Hydrangea plants last quite awhile - they don't do so well once I plant them in the garden.

As the rain continues in southern California, I've decided I'm going to use more and more plants in the house.

And, even though it has been dreary here all day, the plants brighten up the house.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

No Self Control

I have been organizing and purging since January of 2016 and my rule has been "no more stuff".

But, I have been thinking about this 2' long wooden bowl since December

and I finally caved in and brought it home last week.

I convinced myself that one new thing wasn't a problem.

Then I spotted these plates at TJ Maxx on Monday and my internal debate lasted about 1 minute.

Wait, there are bowls too!!!

Seriously, how could someone who loves mix and match decor pass up

blue & white, polka dots and splatter paint?

When I set the plates in my cart, I was hoping that they would work with my mix & match Paola Navone flatware,

but sadly, the blues clash with one another.

Fortunately, I have other navy flatware 

and red flatware will be fun for all the patriotic holidays.

I even found the perfect spot to keep the plates on hand.

I will have so much fun creating table settings with these dishes.

 I chose the splatter paint, dots and lines for their initiation.

This photo captures my decorating style - the candlesticks don't match, the chairs don't match, the dishes don't match . . .

When I showed the dishes to my neighbor (a blue & white girl like me) she flipped a plate over to see who made them and it turns out they are Royal Doulton.


The entire collection is fun, but I will show self control and be content with my plates and bowls.

But, if I come across any of these pieces at TJ Maxx, I'm pretty sure there will be no self control.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

"You Gotta Have Heart"

I have been on a forced computer hiatus while my laptop was in the hospital with a damaged screen.

So, I used the time to add a little "heart" to our cottage.

I removed all the clocks on this shelf in the dining room and replaced them with my small beach pail collection.

The metal heart garland hangs on shelf year long.

The kitchen shelves were an easy fix by simply tucking hearts here and there.

The entry got a big heart

and if you look closely, there are little hearts on the cupboard.

I went a little crazy in the guest room  

pairing hearts with my hand collection.

I am constantly stealing from vignettes

and the Hearts & Flowers diary is now in the living room.

It has been fun adding hearts throughout the house and I could keep going - there is still a basket full of hearts in my little garden house.

They won't be making an appearance this year because enough is enough.

In the last line of "Heart" from Damn Yankees, the boys sing, "We've Got Heart" and we definitely have "heart" in our home this season.

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Monday, January 30, 2017

5 Years!

 In January of 2012, I posted my first blog post with this pic as the header.

I've been looking back at blog posts over the last 5 years - boy have I learned a lot.

The quality of my photos has improved just a bit from the first pic I posted -

lighting is crucial!

The sofa is the same except for new slipcovers,

but gone are the yellow walls.

I do miss the checkerboard floor in the entry although it was difficult to keep clean.

This cupboard with the top and bottom reunited is a much more practical piece for the entry.

This was the top of the cupboard before I fell in love (through blogging) with white.

The bottom portion had been with my daughter, but she returned it and now the cupboard is an important piece for storage.

I do love red, but it can overwhelm a space

so now red is merely an accent color.

The pie safe in the earlier entry pic is still in use - after 3 different paint colors!

The garden has definitely changed over the years

and that is all due to retirement - TIME to play!

My color palette has softened over the years,

but color still abounds.

So what's next for Art and Sand?

There will be changes on this wall in the dining room - the plans are with the handyman!

I will continue to drive Steve nuts with constant changes

both in the house and the garden.

I am doing less and less crafts

although I have a few more stenciling projects lined up.

Lately, my creative energy is used in trying to improve my photography.

And I will continue to learn from all my blogging friends.

And to those of you who have been with me since the beginning, thank you for following on the journey.

Comparing and early mantel pic with a recent winter mantel makes me question why anyone  kept reading!

Thanks for stopping in to see what's happening at our "little cottage by the sea".